“The attorney general of Texas said late Monday that banning guns in college dorm rooms violates the state’s newly approved ‘campus carry’ law, and also opined on setting limits for carrying weapons onto public school grounds and into multiuse government buildings,” the AP reports. “Republican Ken Paxton‘s flurry of nonbinding opinions addressed many much-watched issues, but could also spark a showdown with the University of Texas.” Ya think? The University of Texas Austin released their recommendations for implementing campus carry less than a week ago. In their final report . . .
they recommended banning legally carried firearms from dorms and sporting events, and making “Israeli carry” mandatory. While the embattled Texas AG (under indictment for securities fraud) didn’t address the inanity of the latter recommendation and made no mention of the sporting events carve-out, the difference on dorm storage sets the AG on a collision course with UT’s administrators. As Paxton pointed out . . .
If a public institution of higher education placed a prohibition on handguns in the institution’s campus residential facilities, it would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of the express terms of Senate Bill 11.
While the Texas AG’s opinion is, as stated, non-binding, it could influence the outcome of a court case, should a student banned from stashing a gat in his dorm do so in contravention of school policy. This may well play out in court, as Paxton (and many others) predict:
An individual whose legal rights have been infringed due to a president or chief executive officer of a public institution adopting regulations that exceed the authority granted in Senate Bill 11 would likely have standing [to bring a lawsuit against UT].
Paxton also clarified the law regarding carry in “government buildings that have many uses, including housing courtrooms.” In those cases, “authorities shouldn’t ban license holders from openly carrying their weapons in areas other than courtrooms.”
In case you think Paxton is 100% pro-2A or, alternatively, that the Texas AG isn’t bound by lawmakers’ intent, he also wrote that “open carry doesn’t trump existing laws banning guns at school-sponsored events on K-12 public school campuses.” Where it’s needed most. IMHO.